A bean and cheese burrito from a Mexican restaurant typically contains between 500-1200 calories, depending on the size and ingredients. The amount of calories can vary significantly based on factors like:
Larger burritos contain more calories. A regular 6-8 inch burrito may have 500-800 calories. Larger burritos around 10-12 inches can have 800-1200 calories.
Flour tortillas add more calories than corn. A 6-inch flour tortilla has around 150 calories, while a corn tortilla has around 50 calories.
The type of beans affects calories too. Black beans have around 110 calories per half cup, pinto beans have around 115 calories, and refried beans can have 140-160 calories.
Cheese is high in fat and calories. Cheddar cheese has around 110 calories per ounce. Queso fresco has around 50 calories per ounce. Using extra cheese adds more calories.
Some burritos contain meat fillings like chicken, steak, pork carnitas, chorizo, etc. Meats range from 80-150 calories per 2-3 oz serving.
Including rice adds about 160 calories per half cup cooked.
Salsa and Sauces
Salsas are low calorie, but high fat sauces like sour cream and guacamole can add 50-100 calories per tablespoon.
Fried burritos contain more fat and calories than grilled. Deep frying adds the most calories.
Chips, guacamole, rice, beans, and drinks like soda or beer add more calories to the meal.
Here are some approximate nutrition facts for different sized bean and cheese burritos:
|Burrito Size||Calories||Fat (g)||Carbs (g)||Protein (g)|
Ways to Reduce Calories
Here are some tips to reduce the calories in a bean and cheese burrito:
- Choose a smaller 6-8 inch burrito
- Select a corn tortilla instead of flour
- Limit high-calorie toppings like sour cream and guacamole
- Opt for lower fat cheese like queso fresco
- Skip the sides of chips, rice and beans
- Ask for salsa on the side to control amount
- Order a burrito bowl without the tortilla
- Split the burrito in half and share or save half for later
To make a bean and cheese burrito healthier:
- Choose a 6-8 inch burrito on a whole wheat or corn tortilla
- Fill with black or pinto beans, salsa, lettuce, tomatoes
- Add a small amount of reduced-fat cheddar or queso fresco
- Ask for any sauces or dressings on the side
- Have with a side salad instead of chips and rice
- Drink water instead of sugary beverages
This option provides more fiber, vitamins, and minerals while keeping calories in a reasonable 500-700 range.
Some higher calorie options include:
- Large 12-inch tortilla
- Refried beans
- Extra cheese like queso dip
- Meat like steak or chorizo
- Guacamole, sour cream, mayo-based sauces
- Rice, chips, and beans on the side
- Fried rather than grilled
- Served chimichangas style or smothered in sauce
These options can make a bean and cheese burrito up to 1200-1500 calories.
Calorie Counts at Popular Restaurants
Here are the calorie counts for bean and cheese burritos at some popular Mexican restaurant chains:
|Chipotle||Burrito Bowl with Beans, Rice, Cheese, Salsa||715|
|Qdoba||Burrito with Beans, Cheese||760|
|Moe’s Southwest Grill||Burrito with Beans, Cheese||700|
|Taco Bell||Bean Burrito, Add Cheese||420|
|El Pollo Loco||Chicken Avocado Burrito, No Rice||690|
As you can see, calorie counts can vary significantly depending on exact ingredients and restaurant. Fast food chains like Taco Bell tend to have lower calorie options than build your own chains like Chipotle or Qdoba.
High Protein Options
To make your bean and cheese burrito higher in protein, consider adding:
- Lean meat like grilled chicken or steak
- Pork carnitas
- Chorizo or sausage
- Sautéed shrimp
- Grilled fish like tilapia or salmon
- Extra beans
- Greek yogurt instead of sour cream
Aim for at least 20-30g of protein to help fill you up. Going heavier on the meat and beans while light on fatty ingredients can keep calories reasonable.
Low Carb Options
To make your burrito lower in carbs, try:
- Smaller 6-inch tortilla or lettuce wrap instead of regular tortilla
- Bowl with salad instead of full burrito
- Skip the rice, beans, and chips
- Load up on non-starchy veggies like lettuce, tomatoes, salsa
- Limit bean amount to 1/4 cup
- Choose cheese, guacamole, Greek yogurt for toppings
This will reduce overall carb content to around 30-60g, while keeping calories similar. An ultra low carb burrito bowl option has potential to be under 30g carbs.
Vegetarian and Vegan Options
To make a veggie or vegan bean and cheese burrito try:
- Beans, rice, cheese, guacamole, salsa
- Add grilled vegetables like onions, peppers, mushrooms
- Use smashed avocado instead of cheese
- Meat substitutes like soy chorizo or crumbles
- Add spinach, kale, roasted sweet potato
- Drizzle with tahini, pumpkin or sunflower seed sauce
- Spices like cumin, garlic, chili powder
Aim for a mix of plant-based proteins, healthy fats, and fiber sources to keep you full. Season generously with herbs and spices.
To make bean and cheese burrito gluten-free:
- Use a 100% corn tortilla
- Fill with beans, brown rice, veggies, salsa
- Choose corn chips on the side
- Avoid flour tortillas, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce
- Check labels to ensure fillings are gluten-free
Sticking to naturally gluten-free whole foods and ensuring sauces and seasonings are gluten-free can keep your meal safe. Lettuce wraps are another grain-free option.
In summary, the amount of calories in a bean and cheese burrito can vary significantly based on the size, ingredients, and preparation method. On average, a basic burrito from a Mexican restaurant contains 500-1200 calories. Choosing healthier options like smaller size, lean proteins, and more veggies while limiting high-calorie sauces and sides can help keep calories in check. Consider portion size, whole food ingredients, and customization when ordering to help meet your nutritional needs.